Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nodolby - S/T (Stunned Records CS)

Blowing through these Stunned releases all over again, seeing if I can champion some of this stuff before it's long gone. Cause you know the deal with this label by now if you've taken even a cursory glance at ye old Ear-Conditioned Nightmare. This one is part of Phil's new batch, which presented a couple noisier sides this time around from acts like M. Geddes Gengras (see below) as well as this one, from Dokuro Records head Mic Scariot. I don't know from the label nor the man, but apparently he serves time in another group called Ent which, if this release is any indicator, certainly deserves some attention from this camp. Also, special mention of the artwork on these Stunned releases... this one may look like the Sean McCann tape from this same batch, and it's definitely in the same title, but click on the images if you're inclined. They get huge and you can really soak them in in all their glory.

Anyway, the two sides here are each split into two tracks, with the first one on side A presenting "Voice Over the Zone, When Light Devouring Me." Grammatically incorrect? Sure, but also entirely apt considering the incorrect occurrences presenting themselves throughout. Starts out with a screech and a buzz, and from there its all static hazy days noise with delaying drone fits and starts hovering above. Some especially fucked high end here that really keeps your ears on its toes (lobes?) as fumbling percussion scatters about aimlessly. Yet there's a lighter side too, as playful guitar strums and distant muttering bass build the thing toward some strange kind of misshapen Krautrock groove. Very mobile, with all sounds battering about and against each other while the steady pulse grows and looms in the background. Soon James Earl Jones-style vocals pop up care of Demis da Rold, a strangely soothing God-like voice that utters undecipherables in the midst of the chaos. Like the burning bush, only more fun to hang out with. The second track, "Response: Superfeedback Convoy," is everything its name suggests despite exhibiting little feedback. Instead there's a clicking and crunching hum that builds endlessly into some truly psychedelic bubbling skips and jumps, like Mario on ketamine or something. Truly blasted and fried, but again, not without a sense of play.

The second side opens with "Automatic Mydriasis. Dream Weapon's Pivotal Guidance." What a name. And what a tune as well, as yellow sun drones drench the listener in all of their heat and radiation. It might hurt a little, but it's utterly womb-like as well. Drifting vocals and washed out murk intersect toward some stuttering, club-like feel. Almost dance-worthy, but this sure as shit is no Daft Punk. Instead there's an almost British early rave vibe here, but not nearly as overt, instead just bobbing along on some green highway just northwest of Vegas. Gorgeous, and utterly cruise worthy, the track is almost the opposite of the first side, cleansing the grime and getting out onto some open terrain. Which feels damn good I should add. The following track, "Summer Stasis Bucolic Transient Onomatopoeia," begins a bit more clickety and off-putting than the opener, going for a much more clackety glitch aesthetic. Backing chimes almost sound like some Cage piece (oh man, wish I could get Cage off my mind post project!...) but this is way zonked out with odd feedback jumps and shining drones underneath, almost church bell in nature. Really interesting track that somehow merges the approach on the first side with the first track on the B side, especially when vibraphones (or some such instrument) come in off the Out to Lunch ship. Strangely soft and gentle considering the nutso feedback on top. And dig the delta slide guitar work toward the track's end. Wonderful stuff.

Another great tape. Phil's been doing a killer job of meshing the rock stuff with the noise stuff while still maintaining a clear label identity, sound, and level of output. It's been a pleasant surprise for some of the more interesting noise stuff I've heard in a bit to come out from the label, though I suppose it shouldn't be. Also, gotta mention that the A.M. Shiner from the last batch (Good Cop it's called) deserves review treatment here along with the Yuko Chino, but unfortunately both got left at home so they'll have to wait till June. Killer stuff in the same vein though. But yeah, good tape here. Still available from Phil too, so get on it.

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